15 Jul 2014

Regions continue milking dairy boom

7:46 am on 15 July 2014

The dairy industry has provided a $14.3 billion shot in the arm for regional economies, industry body Dairy NZ says.

The figures come from Dairy NZ's latest economic survey, which calculates the New Zealand economy earned $17.6 billion from dairy exports in the 2013-14 year. Of that, $14.3 billion went to the regions - up 40 percent on the previous year.

Chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said it showed the huge impact the increase in dairy farm incomes and production had had, especially in the main dairying regions.

"It's a tremendous result this year for New Zealand Inc, at a national level and certainly at a regional level," Dr Mackle said.

"The stars have really lined up because we've got record milk production in general across the country and, of course, record milk prices, and the two together mean we're looking at a 40 percent increase in earnings, which is quite significant.

"A lot of the services and products are sourced locally, like feed and fertiliser and vets services and dairy shed supplies, you name it."

The economic survey showed Waikato remained the top region for dairy earnings, at $3.8 billion, followed by Canterbury, Southland and Taranaki.

A dairy farmer inspects his herd.

A dairy farmer inspects his herd. Photo: PHOTO NZ